Life for football Lakers still a challenge in Class C

Skaneateles opens against defending champ General Brown

— Do not think, for one second, that the Skaneateles football team will have an easier time because it was moved from Class B to Class C for the 2011 season.

The Lakers didn’t want to move. Revived by the presence of a new coaching staff led by Tim Green and an influx of new talent, Skaneateles rose to fourth place in Class B West last fall and returned to the Section III playoffs before falling in the first round to eventual champion Cazenovia.

With some of the teams above them (especially Westhill and Marcellus) facing major roster turnover this fall, Skaneateles had reason to think it could vie for top honors in a league full of familiar rivals.

But then the Skaneateles enrollment dipped just below 400 (398, to be exact), and it had no choice but to move into Class C West, at least for this season.

“We got used to it, and we quickly realized that there’s some excellent competition for us,” said Green.

And it starts right away, as the Lakers go north to Dexter on Friday to open the season against two-time defending sectional champion General Brown, who made it all the way to the state finals in 2010. Then it’s a trip to Bishop Ludden, part of a stretch where Skaneateles plays four of its first five games on the road.

Green said that General Brown is “as good as any Class B team”, and the record bears this out. What’s more, the Lakers go there a bit handicapped, as its top two cornerbacks, Malik Merritt and Tyler Saunders, will miss the game, and most of the offensive line is new, too.

Quarterback Troy Green, who missed most of the 2010 season with a broken bone in his right (throwing) arm, returns 100 percent healthy for his senior campaign.

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